Postgraduate study

Medical Anthropology

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Programme website: Medical Anthropology

This programme studies health, illness and healing from a cross-cultural perspective.

With a focus on the understanding of health, illness and medicine in a globalised world, this programme allows you to engage with contemporary debates about old ills and emerging diseases, and explore both traditional forms of healing and modern medical technologies.

You’ll examine key questions in current medical anthropology from the perspective of both medical and social sciences, and address relevant issues, such as the way encounters between patients and professional healers are negotiated in varied cultural settings; the importance of political, economic and historical analysis to an understanding of the body; and the health-related effects of globalisation.

Intended for a diverse range of students, this distinctive and interdisciplinary programme will complement your background in anthropology or health sciences

This programme is affiliated with the University's Global Health Academy and Global Development Academy:

Teaching combines lectures, seminars and tutorials, and you will produce essays and assessed coursework.

The programme works in close collaboration with the Global Public Health Unit and other subjects in the School of Social & Political Science.

You will complete two compulsory courses and four option courses. You are also encouraged to take the Development Research Methods course.

After the taught courses you will work towards your independently researched dissertation.

Find out more about compulsory and optional courses

We link to the latest information available. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year and should be considered indicative.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScMedical Anthropology1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2018/19
MScMedical Anthropology2 YearsPart-timeProgramme structure 2018/19

You will gain the conceptual and methodological skills to understand contemporary health practices in a wider context of social, political, and economic problems, and be able to work in academic and applied health research.

The programme also acts as a conversion MSc for those without training in anthropology who wish to progress to a research career.

In addition, you will develop a range of highly transferable skills, such as communication and project management, which can be applied to roles in any field.

We would like to hear your views on a potential new masters in Health, Humanities and Arts. Our survey will only take about 5 minutes to complete and your answers will help inform the development of this exciting new and innovative programme. There is also an opportunity for you to leave your contact details so we can keep you up to date on any developments.

A UK 2:1 honours degree or its international equivalent.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

All applicants must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of their English language ability:

  • an undergraduate or masters degree, that was taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country as defined by UK Visas and Immigration

  • IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 6.0 in each module)
  • TOEFL-iBT: total 100 (at least 20 in each module)
  • PTE(A): total 67 (at least 56 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections)
  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 169 in each module)
  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components

Degrees taught and assessed in English must be no more than three years old at the beginning of your degree programme. Language tests must be no more than two years old at the beginning of your degree programme.

Find out more about our language requirements:

  • Graduate School of Social & Political Science
  • Chrystal Macmillan Building
  • 15A George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9LD
Programme start date Application deadline
9 September 2019 11 July 2019

We strongly recommend you submit your completed application as early as possible, particularly if you are also applying for funding or will require a visa. We may consider late applications if we have places available.

References are not usually required for applications to this programme.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • Graduate School of Social & Political Science
  • Chrystal Macmillan Building
  • 15A George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9LD